Obama gives green light to expanded targets in Yemen drone attacks

Obama gives green light to expanded targets in Yemen drone attacks

Washington : DC : USA | Apr 27, 2012 at 1:53 PM PDT
Views: Pending
Rise in US Drone Attacks on al-Qaeda Targets in Yemen

The U.S. is becoming more involved in Yemen. Drone strikes have been increasing this year and there are also special forces troops on the ground. Of course the movements of the latter are not reported except when there are reports of their being attacked as happened a while ago. Now Obama is giving the green light for broadening targets of drone strikes.

Militants of various stripes have occupied considerable swaths of southern Yemen. The media no doubt encouraged by U.S. officials tend to describe all the militants as either Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda linked. As good example of this are the group Ansar al Sharia who are now sometimes not even identified as a group separate from Al Qaeda. The main Al Qaeda group is AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula)

Senior officials claim that now fighters may be targeted whose names are not known but supposedly are deemed high value terrorism targets. This is just a repeat of official spin. Elsewhere the description has been that activity at known militant compounds such as loading weapons or unloading ammunition could be targeted. In fact they will target whatever they think might be useful in their fight against the militants. From the very start the drone attacks have been far from directed at limited targets based on hard intelligence. See for example the first attack under Obama. Another attack killed an important provincial official. This article claims that critics suggest the administration is being too cautious and should do even more to help the Yemeni government fight militants. The article fails to note that the Yemeni government is fighting not only militants but also at least two separatist movements and also on occasion tribes opposed to the regime.

Intelligence reports show that AQAP has grown stronger since the U.S. born Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a drone attack. This is not surprising as many critics have pointed out tribal societies have a culture that demands vengeance against those who kill one of their members. Hence the drone attacks create a recruiting opportunity for Al Qaeda.

However, that these attacks are counter-productive in stopping Al Qaeda does not mean that they are counter-productive in terms of domestic U.S. politics. Quite the opposite. There are continual reports of high value targets and leaders being killed and this can bring increased voter support in the U.S. For more see this article. Yemeni intelligence officers say that the attacks occur with the consent of the Yemeni government but that the government has the power to roll back the drone program. One wonders if this is actually the case!

1 of 12
Main attacks by Yemen-based Al-Qaeda since 2000
Main attacks by Yemen-based Al-Qaeda since 2000
northsunm32 is based in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
Report Credibility
  • Clear
  • Share:
  • Share
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear

News Stories

  • US drone-policy shift criticised

      Al Jazeera
    34 Barack Obama has approved a new policy shift which allows the Central Intelligence Agency and the US military to launch drone attacks in Yemen when the identity of those who could be killed is not known. Suspected al-Qaeda fighters can now be...
  • Top al-Qaeda bomb maker in Yemen resurfaces

      Yedioth Ahronoth
    Breaking News When a drone strike killed one of the leaders of al-Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen last year, US intelligence officials thought they also had wiped out the terrorist group's top bomb maker.   Soon it became apparent that Ibrahim Hassan al-...
  • Yemen gas pipeline sabotaged

      NOW Lebanon
    Citing the Yemen LNG company, the agency said the pipeline was sabotaged on Thursday evening in a desert region 260 kilometers (160 miles) from Balhaf, without specifying whether the flow of gas had been interrupted. The 320-kilometre (200-mile)...
  • Al Qaeda-linked group frees 73 Yemeni soldiers

    Al Qaeda-linked group frees 73 Yemeni soldiers Members of Ansar al-Sharia, an al Qaeda-affiliated group, carry their weapons as they ride on a truck in the southern Yemeni town of Jaar April 28. An al Qaeda-linked group on Sunday freed 73 Yemeni...
  • Al-Qaeda-linked group frees 73 Yemeni soldiers

      Daily News & Analysis
    An al-Qaeda-linked group on Sunday freed 73 Yemeni soldiers it captured during a major assault in the south of the country last month, residents said, after mediation by religious scholars and tribal elders. Residents of the southern town of Jaar,...
  • 19 killed as militants battle Yemen troops

      Kuwait Times
    Jalal al-Blaidy, also known as Abu Hamza, leader of the Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Sharia) in Yemen, addresses tens of Yemeni soldiers upon their release in the militant stronghold town of Jaar, in the southern Abyan province. Yemen said it killed...





More From Allvoices

Report Your News Got a similar story?
Add it to the network!

Or add related content to this report

Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use Agreement and Privacy Policy.

© Allvoices, Inc. 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Powered by PulsePoint.